As you would expect, judges are appointed for their ability to adjudicate, often untested at the time of elevation to the Bench. Once appointed, many jurisdictions around the world then ask their judges to suspend their adjudication skills in favour of mediating controversies coming before the court, often in an effort to reduce backlogs. And it seems…

Two stories in the Canadian media caught my eye this past month. New Rules for Bank Mediators – The Federal Minister of Finance has indicated that the Canadian federal government will not require banks to mediate their disputes with customers through mediation services offered by the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI). OSBI is…

Scotland is a practical nation. The list of its inventions includes penicillin, anaesthetics, steam engines, tarmac roads and even the decimal point (see http://www.magicdragon.com/Wallace/thingscot.html#Ta). Like the rest of the UK its culture was in part forged by the ‘practical man’ of the Industrial Revolution, rejecting grand theory in favour of trial and error. Its lawyers,…

ADR in Brazil is a hot issue. The number of courses, events, discussions and debates over the present and future status of mediation is already significant and growing at high rates. For the people who are involved in the field, it looks like mediation booming.

There are reasons for this enthusiasm. The Brazilian Court System may have become an economic bottleneck. Given the slowness of the Brazilian Court System, in theory, there is a demand for quicker, more agile and informal ways of resolving disputes.

The adversarial process built into the Brazilian court system can no longer be the sole or even the preferred way to address disputes. It is expensive, slow and unpredictable. This situation calls (or screams) for the application of ADR. Mediation would seem to be the natural solution to be adopted in most cases.

Additionally, Brazil has already produced a significant number of well-trained mediators, a Code of Ethics following international standards and judges and court staff adequately trained and prepared to identify cases which could be referred to mediation. Despite the theoretically favorable environment, in practice, mediation is still not the preferred way to resolve disputes in Brazil. In fact, mediation in Brazil is adopted in a very small number of cases. Brazil has the need and the means to adopt mediation as a main stream form of dispute resolution, but somehow it has not happened so far.

If you’re in a jurisdiction with some sort of mandatory mediation program its worth reading the reasons of Mr. Justice Sloan of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in  Cornie v Security National and three companion Actions. Many lessons can be drawn from this decision depending on your perspective, but to me one clear lesson…

In the Romanian Parliament there has been submitted a draft to amend the legislative framework regarding mediation. Thus, according to the draft, prior to referring the case to the court of law or the criminal pursuit body, Parties or any of these are bound to try and settle the conflict by mediation, under penalty of…

As I sat down at my desk the other day to think about what to blog about this month, e- mails and text messages suddenly started pinging into my inbox giving me the rather exciting news that the Minister for Justice had just published the draft Mediation Bill, promised in the Programme for Government set…

This Decree establishes in the French Code of Civil Procedure a Chapter dedicated to the amicable resolution of disputes outside the Courts. Said Decree defines the rules applicable to each of the modes providing for amicable resolution of disputes. The Decree No. 2012-66 (the Decree) mainly enacts rules dealing with certain aspects of mediation in…

Picking up where I left off last post, I want to discuss what I consider to be a major problem with the Ontario Commercial Mediation Act, 2010 (OCMA) relating to the admissibility of evidence of what occurred during a mediation. Generally (with some exceptions) at Common Law anything said or done in mediation is inadmissible…